SMEs must devise pragmatic strategies to survive — Vodafone CEO
THE Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Vodafone Ghana, Patricia Obo-Nai, has advised small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to focus more on strategies that can best enable them to survive in these turbulent times.
She mentioned innovation, expansion and compliance as some of the strategies and noted that these among other things would also help enhance and reduce operational cost to sustain their businesses.
“In these turbulent times, survival has become difficult but important. We believe merely being good is no longer enough.
Businesses must fall on innovation, expansion and compliance,” she said.
Mrs Obo-Nai, Chartered Institute of Marketing, Ghana (CIMG) 2023 Marketing Woman of the Year, who gave the advice at the Vodafone Ghana Business Runway in Accra, said to truly excel and sustain greatness, businesses must focus on innovation.
“This is not just about the next technology or launching a product never seen before.
Innovation is also about doing the same thing differently and better so that you can compete with and compete effectively and also have some unique selling proposition which may not be that easy to replicate or actually in our case to help you to reduce your operational costs,” she added.
The event, held on the theme: “Good to Great with Vodafone: Innovate, Comply and Expand,” brought together experts in finance, brand innovation and tax compliance who equipped SMEs with some key strategies to help grow their businesses efficiently.
Mrs Obo-Nai said Vodafone was determined to continuously support SMEs for their growth, adding that for instance, September was set aside in Vodafone Ghana as the SME month.
Creating sustainable financing
In her presentation on Access to Sustainable Financing, the Regional Head of Commercial Banking for Anglophone West Africa Ecobank, Charlotte Amanquah, explained that SMEs were the engine of growth and very critical for the development of emerging economies such as Ghana’s.
However, the funding gap remains a challenge that hinders their growth.
She said with the right financing, SMEs that contribute about 70 per cent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) would be able to grow and reach their full potential.
Mrs Amanquah said to create sustainable financing for SMEs, there was the need for collaboration, adding that “SMEs must also prepare their businesses enough to be able to access financing.”
For his part, the CEO of Dentsu Ghana, Andrew Ackah, said the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) has many opportunities that SMEs can take advantage of.
He said to tap into the opportunities offered by AfCFTA and project their businesses even beyond the continent, SMEs must be their own story tellers and not depend on others to tell their stories.
“Building an innovative brand is an ongoing process. It requires continuous learning, experimentation and a commitment to push boundaries,” he said.